All of the attention directed at Andy RossonFriday wasn’t sought after by the shy Central High School sophomore student.
But it was certainly deserved.
Andy, the son of Tammy Rosson, William Rosson and the step son of Melisa Rosson, was recognized in front of the entire student body and showered with honors and awards Friday to recognize the life-saving actions he took over the summer in Daytona Beach, Fla. Andy, an otherwise quiet and reserved young teenager, hurdled a pool fence and administered CPR on Lee Anne Acosta – an action that doctors say saved her life.
Rossonlearned CPR as a freshman at CHS.
“It was like watching another kid,” said Andy’s step-mother Melisa Rosson,who admitted she didn’t even know Andy knew how to execute CPR.
“To me he is still the kid I have to get to go clean his room,” Melisa added. “But he just knew what to do. He went in and did an amazing job.”
Andy was in Daytona Beach, Fla. on vacation with his family on June 8 when events began lining up that turned a vacation into a life-changing episode.
“We went to [eat at] Hooter’s and the check was taking forever and me and my step mom waited around on it for a while,” explained Andy, his memory understandably vivid. “We got back to the condo and it was about three or four [in the afternoon].”
When Andy returned to his condo from the restaurant and got out of the car people were shouting for help.
“An older woman was asking if anyone knew CPR and [my step mom] said ‘no.’ ButI said ‘yeah’ and took off. There was a fence about five-foot high and I just vaulted over it.”
From there Andy began chest compressions on Lee Anne Acosta, who was lying next to the pool and not breathing.
“There were like 15 or 20 adults around … if they knew [how to do CPR] they weren’t doing anything. I went over there and I took charge of the situation and told them to call 911. I performed CPR for about a minute and a half and the paramedics got there and told me to keep doing what I was doing.”
His actions were undoubedtly lifesaving.
“The doctor said that if it wasn’t for [Andy] she wouldn’t be alive,” said Melisa. “She needed the oxygen that
Central High School sophomore Andy Rosson, right, gets a hug from Amanda Stribling with the American Heart Association Friday. Rosson was recognized in front of the student body for using CPR he learned at CHS to save a woman’s life in Florida over the summer. (Staff photo by Josh Peterson)
he gave her to the brain.”
“We are all really proud of him,” added Andy’s dad, William Rosson. “I wasn’t there. [Melisa] called me when it happened, she was crying. The thing that stuck in my mind was what she said … that watching him doit was like watching the man he is going to be instead of our little boy.”
Andy was given awards from Amanda Striblingwith the American Heart Association, CHS nurse Sarah Walker and CHS Jr. ROTC Col. Phillip Bailey during Friday’s assembly.
A blessing in disguise
For Lee Anne Acosta the events of June 8 were, as her daughter Ashlee Tucker explained, a “blessing in disguise.”
“They found a tumor on the front right part of her brain,” explained Ashlee. “She got out of the hospital on a Saturday, we went to a neurologist on Wednesday and that Friday before she could really walk they did brain surgery to remove the tumor.”
The tumor had caused a seizure for Lee Anne while she was in the pool. Once she arrived at the hospital doctors gave the family a bleak outlook.
“They said she wouldn’t wake up from her coma and if she did then she wouldn’t have any quality of life,” explained Ashlee. “Obviously she woke up.
“It was a miracle from God. Doctors and nurses said we needed to give up hope. It’s truly a testimony to what God is able to do that humans just can’t understand.”
Lee Anne has since returned to most of her normal daily activities, albeit at a slower pace.
“I don’t have the endurance I had,” she told the Timesby telephone from Florida. “But I’m working a few mornings a week and I can pretty much do whatever I want.”
Since the incident Lee Anne has corresponded with Andy, who she refers to as a “very special kid.”
“I have corresponded with him and his mother via email,” she explained. “He has corresponded back and he is very sweet. We haven’t had a chance to meet face-to-face. I really wanted to be there [for the ceremony] Friday but I haven’t felt well enough to travel and the school needed to go ahead and do that.
“His mom is very proud of him and she should be. Just the presence of mind at 14 years old to do what he did just blows me away. I’m not sure a lot of 14 year olds would have the presence of mind to immediately go and help.”
Lee Anne confirmed that Andy’s actions saved her life.
“My heart doctor made it quite clear that if he had not started CPR we would not be where we are today. God saved me. It was his miracle, but he used Andy.”
A teaching point
Central High School principal Joey Vaughn took Andy’s experience and used it as a teaching tool to the entire student body.
“You all have the ability in this life to make a difference in the life of someone else,” Vaughn told the student body. “Whether that is waving at someone in the hall … using a kind word. Those are small things you can do. I challenge you to make a difference every day. Even if it is some small thing.
“[Andy] brought honor to our school and to each and every one of you here.”